Raised metal sign spells out Penn

Case for Aid

As the need for undergraduate financial aid has grown steadily, so too has Penn’s commitment to increasing access for students, regardless of their means. Accessible and affordable education is more than a priority for Penn. It is an imperative that reflects the University’s core values. But this ongoing commitment to grant-based aid does not come without a cost: Penn’s financial aid budget has grown by more than 150 percent in the past decade.

A Named Scholarship established today creates an endowment that will fund life-changing opportunities for future generations of Penn students on campus and beyond. The portion of the aid budget covered by Penn’s endowment has increased, thanks to philanthropic support, from 4.5 percent in the 1990s to 25 percent today. Even with those gains, however, 75 percent of the financial aid program still comes from Penn’s operating budget, placing ongoing strain on the University’s resources. Penn will continue to expand the endowment for undergraduate financial aid, so a larger portion of the program can be sustained by a permanent source of funding.

Philanthropy is the foundation on which Penn’s commitment to affordable education stands firm. With every gift to the Undergraduate Named Scholarship Program or Penn First Plus, donors affirm their belief in equalizing opportunity. When students can come to Penn regardless of their ability to pay, our society benefits. When they graduate, these bright young people are the change-makers our times require, poised to make the world a better place.


The opportunities here are endless. You just have to look around, and you’ll find something for you.

—Ishaani, C'24

Support a Future Leader

Learn more about all of the ways you can support a scholar through the Undergraduate Named Scholarships program.